<p>In the first in Counsel’s series of interviews delving into the lives of legal aid lawyers we meet the LALY Barrister of the Year 2019, tenacious campaigner and trailblazer for juvenile justice </p>
<p>Judicial appointments: is it time to review the competency-based system when you can apply for four competitions with the same self-assessment and get inconsistent feedback? One candidate shares his experience </p>
<p>Amid Brexit and tumultuous parliamentary times, the QC turned MP and new Minister of State for prisons and probation outlines the approach to prisoner places, rehabilitation and rebuilding public trust </p>
Practice – Pre-trial or post-judgment relief. The Employment Tribunal (ET) in refusing to make a cost order against the appellant, who had been partially successful, had not erred in law. The Administrative Court in refusing the appellant's appeal reiterated that the power to award costs in the ET was a disciplinary power, not a compensatory one, and further by withdrawing an allegation it could not be said that he respondent had acted unreasonably in his conduct of the proceedings.
Construction – Dwellings. The claimant's claim against the fourth defendant building control inspector, that it had breached its duty owed under s 1(1) of the Defective Premises Act 1972 in respect of the faulty construction of premises, had been rightly struck out on the basis that s 1(1) did not apply to building control inspectors. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, so held, finding that the focus of s 1(1) was on the doing of positive work which had related to the provision of a dwelling, whereas in certifying, or refusing to certify, plans and works, the building inspector was not engaged in the positive role of the provision or creation of the relevant building.
Air traffic – Airport. The defendant Civil Aviation Authority had not misinterpreted or failed to comply with s 70 of the Transport Act 2000, nor had it reached irrational conclusions. Accordingly, the Administrative Court dismissed the claimant gliding club's application for judicial review of its decision to permit the introduction of air traffic controls in airspace around an airport, which was largely uncontrolled.
Employment – Redundancy. The Central Arbitration Committee (the CAC) had correctly decided that in exceptional circumstances affecting employees' interests, where para 8 of Sch 1 to the Transnational Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 1999, SI 1999/3323, as amended, applied, the employer did not have to wait for a European Works Council (the EWC) to give an opinion on the employer's proposed actions, provided that the employer had given the EWC the necessary information on its proposals and had engaged in consultation. The Employment Appeal Tribunal in dismissing the EWC's appeal against the CAC's decision, held that there was no prohibition in either those Regulations nor the Transnational Information and Consultation Directive (EC) 2009/39 on the employer taking or implementing its decision after it had consulted but before the EWC had produced an opinion. Nor could the Regulations be construed to have that effect.
Value added tax – Input tax. The defendant Revenue and Customs Commissioners' (HMRC) decision, upholding its rejection of a claim for repayment of significant amounts of under-recovered VAT input tax made exactly ten years earlier, was so outrageous in its defiance of logic or of accepted moral standards that no sensible person who had applied his mind to the question to be decided could have arrived at it. Accordingly, the Administrative Court quashed the decision and ordered HMRC to pay the claim (to the extent its quantum had been accepted).